PLDT in legal attempt to gag PCC

By:
Bill Boyle
Published on:

Philippine telco PLDT has applied for a gagging order against the Philippine Competition Commission about the antitrust body's review of the company’s acquisition of San Miguel's telco assets

The main telecoms provider in the Philippines, PLDT, has applied for a court gagging order against the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) about the antitrust body's review of the company’s acquisition of San Miguel Corp.'s telco assets.

PLDT filed an urgent motion for the order in front of the Court of Appeals on 30th September.

“Due to the sensitive nature of the acquisition, and the high public interest, in this case, PLDT is concerned of the possible prejudices and influences that may seep into this Honorable Court’s deliberation,” PLDT said in its motion.

The telco company also asked the court to put PCC into contempt of court if the agency continues to make statements about the issue.

In July, PLDT and Globe Telecom requested the court of Appeals to stop the government's anti-trust watchdog from reviewing their acquisition of San Miguel's telecommunications business.

PLDT and Globe sued the PCC last July in a bid to stop the government antitrust body from completing an investigation into their joint acquisition of SMC’s Vega Telecom, which holds valuable radio frequencies.

The telcos said the frequencies, in the coveted 700Mhz spectrum, were needed to improve mobile internet services.

Critics said the two players merely wanted to strengthen their hold over the country’s telco industry, shifting into lucrative data services while locking out competition.

The PCC retaliated and said that PLDT and Globe now controlled 78% of all telco radio frequencies after the SMC deal as against 53% before it.